Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Learning Curve

She needs to stop taking pictures and feed us!

I love my Canon 50mm lens for taking horse photos because it captures their proportions accurately with no distortion. It took awhile (and lots of photos) to learn that up close, anything longer than 70mm makes their noses and heads look like canal boats. Several years ago I bought this used, 50mm lens on eBay. Even though it wasn’t that expensive it felt like I was taking a big risk, but the lens has performed just fine. This lens, an 85mm and my 90mm macro (Tamron) are the only fixed length lenses that I own, and of the three, the 85mm Canon lens is the better quality lens. I also think foggy mornings (that means humid) work best for me. Even though I loathe the humidity, I like the “mood” it gives to photos, especially in my garden where it makes the colors really “pop.” Here, the “boys,” Bully (foreground) and Rascal (background) are waiting (not so patiently) for breakfast. I think they look like they’re sharing a secret. They’re probably saying bad things about me since I’m taking photos instead of feeding them.

11 responses

  1. My husband has been ‘shooting’ for years. He’s very good, he specializes in wild birds and wildflowers. I wonder if you’d be interested in joining the photography website he’s been posting to. It’s called Nature Photographers Network. They have all sorts of sections, to include landscape, wildlife, domesticated animals, flowers, etc. It’s the sort of thing where you post a picture and members give you advice. For instance, he’s improved incredibly since joining, and has helped a lot of folks with their posts. https://naturephotographers.network
    THey have some strict rules…no self promotion, no selling, no flaming, no trolling, no nasty. You have to join it, I think…but it’s certainly improved his work.
    By the way, I very much like the picture above.

    March 31, 2021 at 10:36 AM

    • Thank you for the suggestion, I’ll take a look at the group. I’m no longer on FB but I did join MeWe so I can be in a couple of photography groups there. I do find that looking at the work of others keeps me inspired most the time. Sometimes it depresses me though, for reasons I’ll try to explain as I continue blogging. I’m picky about what I’ll join for the same reasons this group has lots of rules. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I tend to be the kind of person who can get lost down the rabbit hole of being online (reading, writing. It’s an addition) and if I join too many interest groups I run the risk of never getting off my butt and going out to actually do stuff. So there’s that to try to keep in balance. Thanks again!

      March 31, 2021 at 12:12 PM

      • Oh, gosh, do I understand that. I’ve never done Facebook, but I was stupid enough to find reddit in my local area and now I find I have to hold myself at gunpoint and say, Back Away from The Keyboard…… I used to be on Chronicle of the Horse’s forum and just could not stand the flaming, the trolling, the outright bullying. If you weren’t from the New England states and weren’t wealthy, (which some people could not keep from mentioning how much they paid for that imported warmblood) you weren’t considered human. Worse, you were considered fair game for flaming. I was even flamed for my name!

        The photo website I referred to you is quite strict on people being civil and courteous.
        As for being depressed, not to worry. First, no one cares if you can’t afford an African photo safari. Or if you refuse to pay $10,000 for that big Canon lens. (BOY are they proud of their stuff!!) Dennis uses Sigma Lens, MUCH less expensive and after having both Canons and Sigmas, cannot see the difference in performance or quality.. The main point of NPN (nature photographers network) is to TEACH people how to improve their skills. I’m serious, when my husband first began shooting birds (I infected him,being a birder) he was……..well,so so. He’s improved ENORMOUSLY. He joined a local camera club and right now, during the epidemic, they’re doing Virtual Field trips…posting pictures they’ve taken at various places.
        They also go on local trips…for instance, I sent them to Aspen Farms two summers ago to shoot three day eventing, especially cross country!!

        No, I’m not a member. I’m not a photographer, I”m a picture taker. I’m certain you know the difference. I have a Sony Point and Shoot, I know just enough to put it on A and hope for the best. Oh, and if I’m shooting moving horses, focus on the legs. That way you won’t cut the horse in half.

        March 31, 2021 at 1:52 PM

  2. Oh, and tell Bully and Rascal to stop whining. Breakfast is coming, and it’s obvious they’re well fed and well kept.

    March 31, 2021 at 1:54 PM

    • I did look at the site. It looks wonderful. I will struggle not spending every hour of every day trying to learn more. I’m just back into photography after nearly eight years off and when I say off, I DO mean off. I didn’t touch my camera(s) once. Yes, I have two camera bodies. Both Canon. Scored my full body camera (used) from a local camera shop, then almost immediately stepped away from shooting altogether. At this point I’m not so sure if my problem is ongoing eye trouble or just stupidity, but I’m struggling to take a good photo. Sharpness eludes me like never before. Both stupidity and eye trouble can be vexing, but I can (maybe) fix the former so that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I could go to the camera shop and see if maybe the problem is the camera or me, but I can’t stand the woman who runs the show, so that’s not gonna happen. (It’s not her shop, it’s her boyfriend’s, but she’s large and in charge there) And hey, don’t knock those point and shoot cameras. My husband gets great riding photos on his! (Yes, it pisses me off to no end.) When I used to belong to a camera club (run by you-know-who previously mentioned) it was very much a clique, full of bragging and chest-pounding. I hated it, but I stayed as long as I could because I thought it would help me learn. Turned out it didn’t and I stopped going. While digital technology has saved money and time, it also costs money and time. Today, you not only have to process your own photos, you have to maintain the current software and computer to do so. That expense never ends and by the time you get those caught up, your camera is usually obsolete.

      March 31, 2021 at 3:05 PM

  3. Argggg, my husband says Oh, yeah regarding the cameras going obsolete! as for the software…..that’s the aggravating thing. We have dreadfully poor internet here, there are days when we just don’t GET it. But the NPN website is very good for advice on processing, it depends on the software. They’re great for Photoshop, for instance, but others? I guess so so. When his software starts acting up, I leave the room…
    He says that, if you’re near a city or town with a community college, to check to see if they have night classes in Photoshop and digital photography. He says that hands on learning goes a ‘very long way in helping you learn it.” If you’re like me, I can’t learn from books, and definitely NOT you tube videos. I have to be hands on learning. By the way, his advice is typical of NPN members. Very helpful.

    Oh, and I do hear you regarding the Large and In Charge woman…………those people just chap my ass.
    As for the eyes? I was a “high Myope” for most of my life. So near sighted that I needed coke bottle bottom glasses. My eyesight got worse and worse until I didn’t dare drive at night, especially here in the Carwash State, WA..where it rains. A LOT. And everything was starting to look…oily and yellow. I had cataracts! I talked to some doctors, one said I was TOO YOUNG for cataract surgery,(I was in my late fifties, I think,) and then his resident asked me if I’d be willing to let him fix my eyes? I asked how many he’d done and he said 80-90. So I said yes and I do not regret it one bit..NOT ONE. The surgery…they do one eye at a time..was quick (twenty minutes) and painless, and I was out of bandages the next day. You have to use eye drops for 6 weeks afterwards. Now i can see like an eagle. The world is full of COLOR!! I need reading glasses because I am now ‘far sighted” but being able to ride without fearing losing my glasses, being able to drive and read the signs from far away, being able to see where I was going in the middle of the night when i went to pee…worth it!!

    March 31, 2021 at 6:45 PM

    • OK, after spending considerable time on the photo site … WAY intimidating. Not because of anything said, but those folks are light years better than I might ever hope to be. Here’s my take on the technology saga. I own two old camera bodies. One has completely been discontinued (7D) and the other is a used, decade-old model. Both are DLSRs, which, (IMO) are going to go the way of film. Yes, I think DLSRs are going to become dinosaurs. I have decent glass. I could just buy a mirrorless body (would have to be Canon ’cause I’m not getting rid of my glass) and start the learning curve all over again. I thought about it. I did. But … having been away from photography for so long made me question my commitment and dropping that kind of coin on a whole new system before I prove to myself that I’m in it for the long haul seems rather … well, frivolous. If I was getting GREAT results right now and chomping at the bit to get out there every day and shoot, maybe I wouldn’t hesitate quite as much. So far that’s not been the case. My results have been mediocre at best (frustrating) and that dampens the urge to press on. Again, I’m not sure if the mediocre results are me, my camera … or what? Until I sort that out I don’t have the confidence to start over with something new. My computer is a whole ‘nuther story. Again, it’s old, slow and outdated. I don’t even know if I can update it to handle the current version of Lightroom, which is what I’ve used in the past to process photos. Worst of all, I’m not the least bit tech-savvy, so all of this totally confounds me. I mean, I know I should be saving photos on a dedicated HD … I have one, I just don’t know/remember how to do it. And I don’t have anyone to show me. I use an iMac desktop (Bigger. It’s a vision thing) which isn’t exactly portable. I’d have to get someone in here to help me figure things out. Well, Covid? Don’t know if that’s even possible. As for me? I just want to take pictures. How did it get so complicated and what was I thinking?

      The eyes. Yes, I was also very myopic from a young age. In my late 40’s I started to develop a macular pucker in my right (dominant) eye. A macular pucker causes a “blind spot” or a “black hole” where they occur. Mine happened to be in the central part of my eye, which made shooting a camera almost impossible. I saw a specialist who said it was an “easy” fix. Logic was, why not do it? I did. I had “complications.” They tore my retina in about five places. The “fix” for that was too much to go into here, but needless to say, it causes a cataract to grow (immediately) in that eye. Months later, the cataract gets removed. I had it done. I had complications. It had to heal (totally blurred vision) and be done again. I now have 20/20 vision in that eye because when they did the cataract they put a lens in that eye to correct distance vision. My left eye? I has a macular pucker. I’m NOT getting it fixed. (Gee, wonder why?) My eye doc promised they would do cataract surgery to that eye as soon as they could get insurance to cover it (I was too young) and then, FINALLY, I will have normal vision (for distance) with both eyes. Sadly, my previously damaged right eye has since grown another macular pucker. It’s not quite as central as the previous one was, but you can bet I’m not fixing that, either. 😉

      April 1, 2021 at 7:29 AM

  4. Oh my god. I am so sorry about your eyes. And Dennis says,there’s lots of beginners on NPN but he can see how it might be intimidating. He had a 7D and liked it but now has a Sony mirrorless and likes it. And it’s much smaller. He says in the Sony it’s easier to set exposure because what you see is what you get. Mind you, I’m merely typing what he’s saying.

    My opthamologist never asked me what ‘sight’ I wanted when I had the cataracts removed. He just put in far sighted lenses. I don’t mind at all, I’d been myopic for my whole life, this is better. But jeezlouise, a retina torn in five places? What did they use, a frigging can opener? I am so sorry.

    He uses a adapter called an MCL 11 (made by Sigma) that happily mates the Canon lenses and the Sony mirrorless.
    I’m not trying to sell you anything, by the way.
    Jeez, your eyes. I hope I didn’t open any old wounds. If so, I apologize.

    April 1, 2021 at 8:25 PM

    • More weird eye facts: Like with cataract surgery, most eye surgery is done with the patient being “quasi” awake. I have an extensive dental background and have assisted in more surgery than I care to recall, so needless to say, that meant I KNEW when something went wrong during my eye surgery. I was listening to the dialogue between the surgeon and his assistants and I could tell there had been an major “oops” moment. So I knew. What I didn’t know was how horrible the next six months were going to be. As with all eye surgery, the more myopic you are the more “delicate” your retina is. I’m sure they covered this somewhere in the “possible complications” list, but this guy was so cocky and confident that he made it sound like the surgery would be a routine walk in the park and I’d be back in business in no time. That’s not even close to how it worked out. Several laser operations followed in an attempt to “glue” things back together. That permanently damaged the rods in that eye, so when I encounter dramatic light changes that eye is rendered useless. (Picture walking into a dark & shadowy basement on a bight sunny day. Can’t see a thing. It’s like walking into a black wall.) Oh, and I still had to deal with the evidential cataract train wreck. Different surgeon for that, who, when I expressed some concern after he listed possible surgical complications (one being a TORN RETINA) he told me that wasn’t a very positive attitude to have. I was like, I’ve just been through 6 months of hell because I was someone who had a “possible complication” from routine surgery … how lucky do you think I’m feeling right now? He was only a little less smug when I ended up having to have HIS surgery redone. No, he’s not my eye doctor anymore. 😉

      Cameras: I’m probably going to have to make the jump to a mirrorless model at some point. No clue what, but I’ve been hearing good things about their autofocus capabilities, which probably would help me enormously. I could learn more about that IF I was willing to suck it up and go visit my local camera shop, but that would mean dealing with Ms. Large and in Charge. Probably not gonna happen anytime soon. Good to know the Sigma adapter lets you use Canon glass on Sony. Sometimes it feels like a lot of this stuff is unnecessarily over-complicated.

      April 2, 2021 at 10:12 AM

  5. I think you have the best advisor on which mirrorless to buy at your fingertips..the internet! I know, I know…but seriously. Check SEVERAL websites, go to several reviews…type in ‘which mirrorless camera should I buy and you’ll probably get half a dozen sites. When I do taht, I write down what I want and then surf several sites to see what various folks have input. Of course you’re going to get the site that very surreptitiously touts it’s own baby as the best…but there are plenty of un affiliated people out there who will beg to differ if it’s just marketing. Googling it is far easier on your stomach. Why give Large and In Charge the pleasure of squashing you? Eff her.

    As for doctors…whew. I had a doctor tell me the lump I found in my right breast wasn’t cancer because, at 37, I was ‘too young’. My ass..every woman on my father’s side of the family had it, and some had died from it, and my mother had it at 50. I KNEW I was hot, so I demanded a lumpectomy, had to stand on same pencil necks desk to get a pathology report and whadyaknow…I was hot as a two dollar pistol. Had a mastectomy two days later, and three years later had the other removed…and my ovaries. Now I’m 67 and cancer free. SInce then my sister had it, and a 21 year old niece had it. I go to a doctor when I need to, but I take what they say with a grain of salt. Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off going to my equine vet. He’ can be an asshole but he’s one hell of a good diagnostician.

    April 2, 2021 at 2:08 PM

  6. Oh my! Good thing you were proactive and didn’t listen to your moron doctor. You’ve certainly had more than your fair share of medical trauma. And I agree with you about the equine vet. I think it actually takes a lot more smarts to become a vet than it does to become a medical doctor.

    Still not sure what I’ll do about the camera. I’ve read reviews and watched videos galore. I don’t think I’m ready for a mirrorless yet, and I’m kind of
    hoping Canon will come up with something that’s not a pro model with such a hefty price tag. (Yes, I know they make an R6, but it’s not really what I’m looking for) I taking a serious look at the Canon 5D Mark IV. I’ve read good things about it and it’s in the same family as the camera bodies I have now, which means less of a learning curve. (I think?) I could always upgrade to mirrorless in a couple of years if I still wanted, but in the mean time I’d be shooting with something I sort of know already? At least that’s what I’m thinking today. I’m kind of afraid to move away from Canon, only because it would mean learning everything from scratch again. Maybe that’s not as bad as I think it is, but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

    BTW, if your husband is who I think he is … wow! Nice work. Truly. 🙂

    April 4, 2021 at 9:27 AM

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